Hard Lesson 7: Do You Like Girls that Kick Butt or Psychological Mind Screws?

June 10, 2016

Today we’re going to do something fantastically different. A good friend of mine how I pitch my material and sell so much. We sell a lot at shows. We sell more at shows than anybody else around us by a massive amount, and now I’m going to show you exactly how I did it. If you like this episode, please click here and rate, review, and subscribe now.

In order to do this, you have to know a little bit about how our table works. Right now we have two main books at the front of our table: Katrina Hates the Dead is on one side. Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter is on the other. Katrina is like Buffy on steroids. Ichabod is like Johnny The Homicidal maniac with color. Behind Katrina, I put Gherkin Boy, the book I write and draw about a pickle. Behind Ichabod, I put my first novel My Father Didn’t Kill Himself, which is a psychological YA thriller. All of this is on top of bright green clothes with our Wannabe Press logo on it. On one side of the green, but not touching it, you have all of the all-ages books.

All of this is intentional to move the eye around the table. The books up front are our heavy hitters, behind are for people if they aren’t enamored by either of those books, and all-ages ages books are specifically for people with kids.

So the entire table has a sales flow. Now that you know how our table is set up, let’s talk about the steps.

The first step is to get somebody’s attention and make them stop at your table. You can use any number of statements to get them to stop, but my favorite is “Do you want to see a cool comic?” I literally say it 1,000 times a day constantly until somebody shrugs and stops. Just by saying this I’m weeding out the people who like indie comics, and engaging with a target audience. This is more than any other person does already. The fact that 80% of people will completely ignore me doesn’t matter, because I’m focused on the 20% that stop.

However, I go deeper. Once they stop I try to narrow their focus by pointing to both Ichabod and Katrina and saying “Do you like girls that kick ass or psychological mindfucks?” Depending on what they say, I then put either Ichabod or Katrina in their hand. It’s so important to get a book in people’s hands. Just by giving a customer something to hold you increase your chance of a sale by 50%. However, even with that at least 60% of people will leave my booth with a smile and nothing.

Only if they don’t show interest, do I ask them whether they like novels (at which point I hand them My Father Didn’t Kill Himself) or weird books about pickles (in which case I hand them Gherkin Boy). However, it’s important to note that I only show this to people AFTER they have not shown interest in my biggest sellers.

Now, if they say BOTH, I hand them Katrina because I know that Katrina outsells everything else on my table 3 to 1. I only hand them that because Katrina has the best chance of making a sale.

Once they have a book in hand, I give them a one line pitch. “Katrina is about a girl who gets sick of living during the Apocalypse so she sets out to kill the devil and end it once and for all” or “Ichabod is about a psychopath that escapes a mental asylum and becomes a monster hunter during the Apocalypse but you never know if he’s killing monster, humans, or it’s all in his head”.

Then I let them read. As they read I fill them in on some facts about the book. “The artist for Katrina went on to draw for Dark Horse, Star Wars, and others,” or “The Ichabod artist helps launch Charles Soule’s career. Now he works on all sorts of stuff for Marvel.” I always make sure to mention that everything is a complete story. For many people that buy my books, a complete story is really important.

Once they look at the back cover, I know they are looking for pricing, so I tell them that books are 1 for $20 or 2 for $30. By that time they usually ask what the second book is about, or about everything on my table. Once they go for more books, I tell them more about everything, but I know I have them for at least one book. I want to upsell them into as many books as possible because the more books they buy the more likely they will be to read the books and come back for more. Bundling is really important for that, because it also allows you to drop the price of one book if they say no.

If they say no to the $20 price point, I tell them that I will do a one time deal. If they buy the book now on their first time through the convention, I will sell it for $15 instead of $20. Again, this doesn’t get everybody, but it gets some people. I do this because I know if I let them go there’s a 99% chance I will never see them again. About 1 person per 100 people that tell me they’ll come back actually do.

If you get through all this, then the maximum amount of people will buy from you because people want to buy cool things from people they like. And if you can be engaging about your product, passionate about it, and ask for the sale, then people will want to buy.

That’s all for this time. If you like this episode, please click here and rate, review, and subscribe now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *